Graduation 2021

Looking back at our online celebration of
Faculty of Sciences graduates

We were delighted that so many of you could join us online from across the globe to celebrate your achievements in these most unusual of times.

Although your time as a York student may have come to an end, you are now part of a friendly and inspiring community of over 130,000 York alumni across more than 180 countries.

Keep scrolling to find out more about your York Global Alumni Association membership and enjoy just some of the many highlights from your online graduation.

"In countless ways, all of you have shown your ability to manage uncertainty with humanity, flexibility, fortitude, and in many cases, good humour.

I hope that you are proud of our shared legacy and that you will carry it with you into the world. Now, more than ever we need bright, inquisitive minds like yours."
Professor Charlie Jeffery, Vice-Chancellor and President

The build-up

While the ceremony was virtual, the excitement was real

We were also treated to messages from some old friends...

Dr Gavin Esler, Dr Clare Matterson, Dame Sharon White, Professor Jim Al Khalili and Dr Greg Dyke were just some of the many honorary graduates who took the time to congratulate our graduands.

Watch the full playlist of videos

The main event

Living rooms and home offices across the globe became a stand-in for Central Hall as you gathered with your families, friends and supporters

Chancellor's introduction

Mary Haworth, Director of the University's Office Philanthropic Partnerships and Alumni, welcomed graduands and introduced the Chancellor, Professor Sir Malcolm Grant.

"We have both the opportunity and the responsibility to help humanity face challenges such as this ghastly pandemic. So today let it be an opportunity for celebration wherever you are and for reflection, it's a rite of passage but it's also not the severing of the cord of relationship between you and this University."
Professor Sir Malcolm Grant, Chancellor

Presentation of candidates

Professor Brian Fulton, Sciences Faculty Dean, announced and awarded graduands from each department, with a musical interlude provided by I Anonimi.

Student orator speech

Roshani Saroj from the Department of Electronic Engineering was chosen to represent the University of York's Winter Class of 2021 (Sciences).

"We the youth have to ensure that the world continues to strive for innovation because we never know what it may hold for the future."
Roshani Saroj, Electronic Engineering graduate

Presentation of honorary graduand

Dr David Pitcher (Department of Psychology), presents Professor Nancy Kanwisher for her honorary degree.

"Nancy Kanwisher is the Walter A Rosenblith Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a founding member of the McGovern Institute."
Dr David Pitcher, Department of Psychology

"The extraordinary challenges we now face are also extraordinary opportunities for each of you to have a major impact. You can work to phase out fossil fuels by developing new renewable energy technologies, you can run for office and fight for racial and economic justice, you can create beautiful art, music or literature that lifts people's spirits, you can develop treatments for diseases, you can discover new things about the cosmos or the brain that blow people's minds, you can also by the way have a very big impact at a local level. "
Professor Nancy Kanwisher

Closing declaration by the Vice-Chancellor

"We look forward to hearing about your contribution to the public good that's a special feature of being part of our community at the University of York. Please do keep in touch."
Professor Charlie Jeffery, Vice-Chancellor and President

Familiar faces from our honorary graduate community made surprise appearances with their messages for this year's graduands

"You have earned through your hard work a phenomenal and fantastic future and if I have one belief in this world it is that my generation, which has to a large extent screwed everything up, is now going to step aside and it is graduates like you who will come through and make this world so much a better place. "
Anthony Horowitz

"Covid-19 has taught us some things we need to remember - the value of human contact, the importance of looking out for each other, the huge impact of small gestures of kindness. We have been reminded that we are interconnected. For better or worse we leave an imprint on the lives of others. Hopefully we won't forget this when the threat has receded. "
Orla Guerin

And finally, our students closed the proceedings by sharing their own three words that describe York.

We loved seeing your celebrations

Thank you to everyone who shared their day with us on social media.

"I'll keep in my heart every person I've met in this journey, every learning and every day, rainy or sunny."

Feeling inspired?

If you're a friend, family member or supporter who has been inspired by our graduates and is considering a return to education, you may be interested in our free online courses including our course for mature learners.

You are now part of a global network of alumni

This isn't the end...

We want to bring you back onto campus to celebrate as soon as it is safe to do so. Please make sure your details are up-to-date so we can get in touch.

This is only the beginning

The York Global Alumni Association is our community of inspiring passionate, dedicated graduates around the world - and that now includes you!

Access our support

"You get to make a lot of new contacts with experiences and viewpoints that enrich your life and career – people you wouldn't have connected with without the ties of the University."
Ross, York Alum

Find out how to follow in the footsteps of other alumni

"Launching any career can come with its challenges. Finding one’s feet and establishing oneself as a strong, dedicated and accomplished worker may take some time. Any new role may seem like a baptism of fire at times, but you simply have to roll up your sleeves and get involved!"
Abisola Barber, Global Chief Operating Officer at Barclays Investment Bank

Read our interview with Abisola Barber on Alumni Voices

Connect with a Peer Mentor

Would you like a mentor from the Class of 2020 to help you with the next step of your journey into work, further study or setting up your own business? Peer Mentors graduated in July 2020, so they know what it's like to graduate in the current global climate. They are trained to help you strategise your next steps, by offering online mentoring and signposting to opportunities for professional development and networking. All mentoring is carried out online, at a mutually convenient time for you as the mentee and your mentor.

Find out more and apply to get a Peer Mentor

Be part of York Unlimited

Over 200 students of our Class of 2021 received donor-funded scholarships or awards.

Visit the York Unlimited page to find out how you can support students and projects at York - now, or in the future.

Welcome to the University of York Global Alumni Association

Connect with York graduates around the world on our website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin